The role of sexual crime prototypes in guiding social and political discourse around sexual crime legislation

Harper, Craig and Hogue, Todd (2014) The role of sexual crime prototypes in guiding social and political discourse around sexual crime legislation. In: IATSO Annual Conference, 3-6 September 2014, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

With the recent increase in the number of 'memorial laws' being enacted in response to specific cases of criminal activity, this talk examines the use of sexual crime prototypes in guiding social and political discussions around sexual crime policy. Data are drawn from studies into the representations of sexual crime within the British national press in order to develop a dual-process model of this discourse, with specific cases of sexual offending being identified as guiding social and political discussions about the best ways to reduce incidents of sexual offending, and to sentence and manage its perpetrators. Specifically, the impact of the recent Jimmy Savile sex offending scandal will be drawn upon. Next, a number of empirical studies are then presented, providing experimental support for the notion that the activation of sexual crime prototypes can contribute to public preferences for punitive policies in relation to the sentencing and post-conviction management of sexual offenders. The talk concludes with an outline about how to reduce the impact of misrepresentative sexual crime prototypes through the sharing of ‘success stories’, with a call for greater public engagement from academics in this area to address social misconceptions about this important legislative issue.

Keywords:Prototypes, sexual crime, Legislation
Subjects:L Social studies > L310 Applied Sociology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
L Social studies > L300 Sociology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:16384
Deposited On:08 Jan 2015 16:05

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